7/20/2013

Bruins schedule and NHL realignment

via boardssportslogos.net
First of all, NHL and the NHLPA have come to an agreement to allow NHL players to go to Sochi and play in the Winter Olympics next February.
The NHL also released the 2013-14 Regular Season Schedule, which includes an Olympic pause from Feb. 9-25, 2014.
It will be the first season that the NHL will operate under a new divisional alignment, but we'll come to that later.

Let's start with some more or less noteable games for the Bruins.


-November 5 -  The return of Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley to TD Garden, as the Dallas Stars are in town to take on the Bs. It will also be the first time that Loui Eriksson has to face his former team.

-November 9 -The Toronto Maple Leafs return to the TD Garden after a historical game 7 collapse in the playoffs. With Tyler Seguin gone to Dallas will "Thank You Kessel" survive ?

-November 29 - Once again the Bruins are part of the NHL Thanksgiving Showdown as they take on the New York Rangers at TD garden. It's the first time both teams meet after Boston eliminated the Rangers in 5 games.

-December 5/January 30 First, the Bruins face their hated rivals from Montréal at Bell Centre. The Canadiens will play their first game on garden ice next January.

-December 10 - Iginla returns to Calgary for his first appearance against the Flames EVER.

-December 14/February 4 - Bruins vs Canucks is finally back after almost 2 years. The Stanley Cup Final back in 2011 was one of the most hate-filled series I've ever seen and the Bruins are looking for revenge after a unlucky loss against the Nucks in January 2012.

-January 19 - The Blackhawks and Bruins meet each other for the first time since game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The game will be held at United Center.
  
-February 1 - Probably the most emotional game of the season, as Andrew Ference returns to TD Garden with the Edmonton Oilers.

The Bruins will end the season with 10 of their last 14 games on the road, starting/finishing in New Jersey March 18th / April 13th. 

via Tom Fulery
At this time I want to congrats Buffalo, Montréal, Toronto, Ottawa and Detroit as your cities have offically moved to the Atlantic Coast according to the new NHL division names.
Yes you got that right, Gary Bettman and his smart brains thought it would be a good idea to name the "old" Atlantic Divison Metropolitan and the former Northeast Divison Atlantic.
Bill Daly's response to the naming of the divisions was that they believed these geographical names appealed to the masses of fans and made it easier for fans both casual and die hard to associate with.
First of all, most of the fans didn't want geographical names, they wanted the good old  Adams, Norris, Patrick and Smythe Divisons back or atleast something like it.
Second, did you ever pay attention in geography ? How does it make any sense to name a Divison Atlantic if almost every team is further away from the Atlantic Ocean than the currently Metropolitan division (former Atlantic Divison) ?

Furthermore, the NHL is likely to win every price for the worst Divison name in all of sports with the new Metropolitan divison. Does Metropolitan represent the teams in the division ? Yes, if we are speaking about the NY Metropolitan Area. I wonder how Columbus, Washington and Carolina feel about beeing part of the "Metropolitan" divison.
One of the best references I've found came from a Rangers Fan on NHL.com
"Why don't they name the Northeast Division, the New England Division huh? That wouldn't downplay the importance of all areas outside of Boston in the NHL would it????" Oh the irony ...

The point of all this was to put Detroit in the Eastern Timezone and Winnipeg into the Western Conference.
Clearly they didn't want to break any rivalries (they were forced to with Chicago and Detroit) and so Detroit landed in the Atlantic Divison with the Bruins, Leafs and Canadiens making it the "Original-Six Division" with 4 of the 6 in it.

All teams in the Metropolitan Divison are fairly close to each other, whereas the Atlantic Division has teams north and south of the Metropolitan. Sounds fair ? Yeah because the NHL likes to suck some Crosby dick.
You could easily rename the Metropolitan to NBC divison because all they want is Crosby and Ovechkin.
I get that the NHL didn't want to split the Lightning and Panthers. It's the only rivalry both teams have so why would you break that up ? But should that be an excuse for this travel bullshit ?
Florida and Tampa Bay might be happy about beeing in a divison with 4 Original-six teams in terms of selling tickets etc but it might be even harder for them to make the playoffs as it would have been with teams like Carolina, Columbus and Washington in the other divison.

It's not like the NHL went totaly wrong though.
In my opinion it's great to play each team at least twice a year with one game at home and one on the road.
Detroit will be happy to play against teams from the Eastern Timezone, Winnipeg will be happy to be back in the Western Conference and Columbus might be happy to get some more attention in the East.

The fact that the NHL now has two eight-team divisions in the Eastern Conference and two seven-team divisions in the Western Conference leaves options for an upcoming expansion. (might be a blog topic later this year)




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